My husband is a dumb ass, and I love him anyway

by Alisa on October 26, 2008

When my marriage was falling apart, there were many things that annoyed me about my husband, but just two that relate to the topic at hand. First, there was “The Voice.” He had this way of talking to me that made me feel inferior and threatened.

And, I know. I know. According to psychologists, my husband can’t make me feel anything. He can’t control my feelings. They tell me that I make myself feel inferior and threatened when I hear The Voice. You know what I have to say about that? Poppycock. That Voice could threaten a Navy Seal. The power of it did not come from the words. Rather, the effect came from his tone and speed.

He might simply be asking me if I knew where his headlamp was, but he’d say it in this low, flat, icy, slow “I think you have the IQ of a Labrador Retriever” voice. When he asked, “Where is my headlamp?” I heard, “You stupid excuse for a wife. Why do you lose all of my stuff?”

Second, Mr. Strong and Silent could not admit wrong doing if I was holding a branding torch to his balls. I might complain, for instance, that he’d borrowed my car the night before and left it without a fume of gas. Instead of apologizing, he’d say, “Oh, come on. You had enough gas to get to a gas station.”

We’ve discussed both issues more times than I care to remember.  Recently, I told myself that some things just weren’t going to change. If I was going to stay happily married to this man, I reasoned, I just might have to learn to love The Voice and his inability to say, “I’m sorry.” No one was perfect. It could be worse. He could be a nudist, for instance.

And then, just like that, I let someone borrow my tent. (I know this seems like a non sequitur. Bear with me). I hadn’t used it in years, so when Tina asked if she could borrow it, I said, “Why sure. You need a sleeping bag? I think I have one.” I found one of Mark’s. As far as I knew, he hadn’t used it since before my time. I gave her both.

Flash forward one week. Tina returns the tent and sleeping bag. I’m carrying both into the house. Mark sees me with said sleeping bag and says, in The Voice, “No! No-no-no! You do not let someone use my sleeping bag! No! Just no! Bad! That’s bad, bad bad! I am not happy.” I’m standing there, my body half way in the house, half way out. I’m staring at an adult man who seems to be having a temper tantrum. I realize that I probably should have asked him if it was okay for Tina to use the sleeping bag, but I’m also thinking that he should learn how to act his age. Is he 42 or 2? My God.

I drop both on the floor, look at my feet, say, “Um, sorry. I won’t let anyone borrow your sleeping bag again. Got to go.” I leave to meet my running partner, thankful for the very good excuse of why I can’t stand there and listen to him loudly say, “No!” for another 10 minutes.

As I drive to meet her, I think the usual string of unsavory things I usually think when I am piping mad. I think, for instance, that the world would be a better place if he would just tumble into a vat of quick sand. I run with Eileen, work off the stress and anger, and I feel a lot better. By the end of the run, I’m still annoyed by his behavior, but I no longer want him to die in the quicksand.

I get home. I do a little work. I go to a meeting. I wonder, “Maybe he’ll apologize?” Then reason sets in. “Of course he won’t apologize. He probably doesn’t even know I’m irritated with him. He’s probably completely forgotten about it by now. When I bring it up later, he’s not going to know what I’m talking about.”

I come home. There’s a message on my phone. I listen to it. It’s my husband. He says in a meek, quiet, soft voice, “Sweetie. I’m really sorry I was such a dumb ass this morning. Will you give me a call so we can talk about it?”

I don’t call him right away. What can I say? I’m gloating, and the victory dance lasts quite a while. But I do call. He says, “I know you didn’t know how important that sleeping bag was to me. I understand that there was no way you could know how far back it went, and that it can’t be washed.”

He is right. I didn’t know. I also didn’t know that a friend of his had once loaned a similar sleeping bag to a young couple who’d promptly copulated inside of it for two days straight. It apparently had never been quite the same. Who knew? I hadn’t.

“You really hurt my feelings,” I say, “But I’m so happy you apologized. I really appreciate it. It makes me feel really good.” And it really did.

A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie February 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Wow i honestly think we are married to the same person LOL. My husband doesn’t say (as i liked to call it) the dreaded “S” word. How did you get him to start saying it? I have to know

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Kim April 15, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Sounds familiar. My husband is an ass then is sorry then an ass! This is pretty much his M.O. He is just lucky that the ass state is about half the time as the great guy state. I love him but some times I have to remind myself.

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Kristen June 1, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I’m glad he called to apologize, but may I offer my opinion on something?
Him saying, “No-no-no! Bad!” seems like he’s talking to a pet or small child, not his spouse. I personally can’t say I’d put up with that kind of talk, but then again, I don’t have to anyway.
I’m sure he’s not a horrible person and doesn’t treat you, as I said, like a pet or dog in other ways, but that glimpse of him get me a little worked up. I won’t tell you how to live your life or interact with your spouse, so all I’ll say is I wish you both the best in your marriage…you seem like you have a way of working out disagreements, and that’s good. :)

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Sarah June 17, 2009 at 1:05 pm

LOL! Sorry, but this title just makes me laugh so hard, I’ve read the post before–but I think it’s just so true! Aren’t all men dumbasses, and all women royal bitches? I think that’s just the way it goes…but we all love each other anyway–and THAT is the very best part of all!

Many Blessings,
-Sarah Liz :)

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Kathy August 20, 2009 at 9:19 pm

A couple of weeks ago my husband had a fit about something and got all pissy with me. I don’t need that crap from anybody. Especially when I really didn’t do anything wrong, but ask a question.

I decided I was NOT going to apologize. I usually do, just to keep the peace. But this time I didn’t care how long we didn’t talk. I wasn’t apologizing.

After about 15 – 30 minutes, he apologized. I couldn’t do the “victory dance”, he was standing in the same room as me. But in my head I most certainly did!

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D October 7, 2009 at 11:40 pm

I am loving reading every one of your posts. It is funny, because the things that frustrate you about your husband seem so harmless (annoying but harmless) when you write them. But, when my husband does or says some of the same things all I can think is how much I hate him and why in the world did I marry such a dumb ass?! I guess in the heat of things everything seems so much more serious than when I read it from another perspective. Maybe my marriage is worth saving? Maybe even though right now we pretty much hate each other we can still find the us there used to be? I will have to keep thinking about it.

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Shelly October 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I am stil not convinced I love my husband more than I hate his behaviors!

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Kim Stewart April 20, 2011 at 10:19 am

My husband is so dumb that his computer was struck by lightning night before least and after I spent all of 6 hours trying to repair it…..we have another storm and I tell him to unplug EVERYTHING connected to his computer…I awake this morning after another storm and guess what?……he only unplugged one thing and everything else is stilll plugged in…..MY GOSH….does he EVER learn???? He does NOT listen to anything I say!!!

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Geli July 24, 2011 at 12:34 am

I so have a dumb stupid but sometimes amazing husband.. U live him with all my heart.. But sometimes I think he stopped loving me.. It pisses me off cuz he prefers his stupid friends more than me.. And for every lil mistake I do I tend to apologize but if it was him he never does… Like one time he made me mad cuz he promised me that he was Gonna stop drinking.. So when I get off work at 9 and get home he just recently gmt home from his friends house drinking couple of beers.. He made me so effin mad cuz he promised he was Gonna change for me.. Our marriage! Like I changed somethings of myself .. How can I get for him to understand that we Both have to put both of our parts to maintain this marriage going??

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kiwanna December 9, 2011 at 10:48 am

It is getting to the point were I’m considering divorce he really irritates me on a daily basis. Every day its something our childrenare all adults now I don’t have to put up with his crap anymore. I’m out of here over 20 years of temper tantrums and fussing dick of it.

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kiwanna December 9, 2011 at 10:50 am

Corrections sick of it

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elizabeth February 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm

they do not grow up, they may learn to apologize, they don’t change much.
my husband told me 23 years ago that he would never grow up. he was honest it was the total truth. he can say he is sorry ect. but still acts like a 7 to 13 year old 95 percent of the time. everybody else loves him but its hard to live with a child when you have grown up. i’ll be raising him till death do us part, oohhhh my.

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